Welcome to IdeaJones.com

Articles, radio stories, ads, columns, corporate communications, novels or scripts – we’re never short of ideas. You can see some of our designs in our Redbubble shop.

 

Joey Jones is the published author and editor of many newspaper and magazine articles, radio stories, advertisements and commentaries, and has ghostwritten everything from speeches to love letters. She is a past Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting semifinalist and Fade In: Screenwriting Awards quarterfinalist. She also gathers sound and conducts interviews as a freelance field producer in the Sacramento area, and her on-air performance as “The Dying Fish” can be heard in the Water Education commercial series.

Mark Jones makes a living producing radio shows (like Connections on Capital Public Radio’s Music Station). As Martin Jenkins, he’s heard weekday evenings on CapRadio’s four news stations, and Sunday mornings on 91.3FM KUOP Stockton/Modesto. Mark has also sung, acted and directed local theater and TV.

 

We’re about the story. Whether it’s the facts and figures of nonfiction, or the deeper truth of fiction, we want to find just the right words, sounds, and/or images to get it across.

We’re also about the process. “Do the work right, and on time.” Life’s too short to make things harder than they have to be.

 

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It’s Time To Color For A Cause!

 

Time to Color For A Cause!

For the third year, we’re hosting Color For A Cause, a free event you can participate in wherever you are!

The idea is to draw or color cards for distribution at hospitals and nursing homes.  We have designs you can print out and use for any non-commercial (no money involved) use, or you can draw your own. Coloring makes a nice break from holiday stress, and you can also have kids color cards to keep them busy around Thanksgiving and during school breaks!

We take cards to places like the local Shriner’s Hospital, to be given to kids who must be in the hospital over the holidays. This year, we hope to expand to a nursing home as well. Wherever you are, you can participate by making cards and taking them to the local hospital or nursing home.

If you print our cards to color, it works well on cardstock (the kind you can easily find at any office supply store), white works well, but they work on any color (it’s just that colored card stock limits your coloring choices). We also take cards to the hospital that aren’t colored in, for the kids to color and give out themselves.

If you make the cards 3.5″ x 5″, you can get two on an 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper. There are 4″x6″ envelopes available in office supply stores. Don’t seal the envelopes — they need to be able to see them at the hospital.

Messages? Keep it simple. The basic guideline is “nothing obscene, nothing overtly religious (as you don’t know what religion the recipient practices), and positive.” A short message is fine and you can sign just your first name (no personal info like addresses).

If you want to join in and send cards to go with ours, the deadline is Nov. 30. You can find info on our Facebook page, facebook.com/IdeaJones.

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NaNoWriMo Is Almost Here!

If you’ve ever uttered the words, “I’d like to write a book some day,” then it’s time to take a chance on your dream. National Novel Writing Month is almost here (starts November 1), and if you go to https://nanowrimo.org , you can sign up (it’s free) and join other writers working on their books. Lots of budding novelists bloom in November by taking part in this.

It holds you accountable. You log in every day in November and submit your word count for the day, and it tracks your progress. You’d be surprised how far you can get with just a little every day. Sure, some weeks you can come up with hours to write, but other days you may have only 30 minutes. Thirty days hath November, which means that by the end of the month, with just 30 minutes a day, you’ll have put in at least 15 hours on your book!

Our NaNoWriMo book for 2018: East-West Crazy

Our NaNoWriMo book is “East-West Crazy,” which is a Women’s Fiction novel with dark humor. It’s already started, but I plan to make real progress in November, and I’m looking forward to it.

My mom used to say that time is a gift so precious, we rarely give it to anyone. For many of us, this is especially true of ourselves. But even if it’s only 15 minutes a day, that’s one whole work day you invested in yourself and your dreams by the end of the month. You’re worth that… and no matter how tight your budget may be, you can afford 15 minutes a day.

By the end of the month, your “some day” will be a lot closer.

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Happy Halloween!

We’re all mad. The best people are. Happy Halloween!

Autumn is here, at last! I’m not a summer person, at least, not since I moved from Santa Cruz. Hot weather isn’t my thing. I like to pick when I get sweaty and when I don’t.  The temperature here is finally starting to slide into the 70s. And that means Halloween is almost here.

I love Halloween. Well, I love holidays in general. But Halloween? Right after Christmas, my favorite holiday. The idea of being able to don a costume and try on a different self is almost irresistible. As a kid, my mom made most of my costumes (she could really sew). I always had the best costumes. But one year, I asked to be a tomato. Yes, a tomato. I was about six. Why a tomato? It  had something to do with talking people into trick-or-treating together as a sandwich, as I recall.

Mom really tried. She would take it apart, start over, mumble to herself. Finally, she told me she wasn’t able to make me a tomato costume. There were things Mom couldn’t do? Since when? But she had made me a costume… Santa Claus. I did *not* want to go out as Santa on Halloween, but rather than disappoint Mom, I did.

I almost had to rent a truck to carry my haul that night. People were virtually throwing candy at me. “That’s so clever!”  “Ha, ha! A reminder of Christmas shopping? That’s the scariest costume I’ve seen all night!”

Here’s hoping your Halloween launches Awesome Autumn and  has the best treats, and only fun tricks.

 

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Farewell, Johnny Wicked and Lady K

Mark and I woke a few days ago to the news that a Facebook friend I’ve known for years, a private individual I’ll call “Lady K,” had died suddenly. Later that day, we learned that our friend, musician John Wicks, had also passed.  We’re still trying to process it.

Lady K was a blogger who wrote about mental health issues. She was courageous in talking about her own challenges, and always encouraging to others. She was also a good person with a big heart and a lovely, warm and supportive friend.

Lady K was a warm, kind soul

She was a recreational shopper, a person who took joy in finding the least expensive way to buy an item. She would show you the item (for example, a bedspread listed for $100), then show you the receipt ($15), and walk you through  how she got the price down that far.

I thought of her today. I’m not much of a recreational shopper (although I love yard sales and thrift stores). We went to the grocery store and bought, among other things, beets. I like beets, but not as much as I like beet greens. But most people tear them off and sure enough, that section of the produce bin was littered with big, fresh beet greens. I collected them in a bag and at the checkstand, gave the clerk the bag and said, “I don’t know what you charge for these… they’re the beet greens that people tore off of the beets and threw back into the bin.”  The clerk smiled and put them with our groceries. “How about free?”  I was happy — I got free, organic beet greens. He was happy — the produce department doesn’t have to clean up a bunch of beet greens. It was a small coup, but I wished I could tell Lady K, who would have understood.

She lived life wide open, which sometimes meant she got hurt, and badly, but she remained an open, good-hearted friend, who loved to laugh and was quick to give others a boost up, even when she didn’t feel all that confident herself. She helped this introvert learn to ask for what she wants.

Johnny Wicked was a public personality (singer/songwriter) and a private one (our friend, John). We got to see the public personality  in concert a few times. Once, and our guess is John and his wife arranged this, we were seated in the VIP section at the club. We sometimes spring for the VIP seats, but not often, and we hadn’t that time — but we arrived and the staff seated us in the VIP section, and told us we had been moved there. It added another layer of fun to an already fun night.

John Wicks, aka Johnny Wicked, was a wonderful performer. He was what the old vaudeville performers would have called “a trouper.” The performer who understands what he owes his audience. He truly believed that old show business adage that “the show must go on.” Once he told me, “The audience pays their money and they deserve the best you can give them.”  Even as cancer racked his body, he gave everything he had. You were guaranteed a good time at a John Wicks show, whether he played solo, in duets with performers such as Debbie Peterson of The Bangles, or with his band, The Records. You never got less than the best he had to offer.

He had high artistic standards and got frustrated when he, or the situation, couldn’t meet them, a thing we talked about more than once as Mark and I can be the same way.

My favorite of John’s songs, and personally relevant as we think of our friend.

When John was first hospitalized, I drew a silly cartoon of him and sent it to give John and his wife Valerie a laugh, thinking they’d get a chuckle out of it and toss it in the trash. But no, John kept it up in his room. Other cartoons followed, getting more outrageous. Privately, we talked about so many things, life in the arts, what we were up to, challenges we faced… but mostly, we cracked jokes.

John could tell a funny story, usually scandalous, true, and worthy of his nickname, Johnny Wicked. He was kind, gentle, and supportive.  He had a great laugh and was absolutely honest about himself. He’d had fame, suffered setbacks, and had to reinvent himself, and while he was disappointed in some things, with reason, he never seemed bitter, only frustrated. Where some would have become cynical, selfish and cold, John was a warm, open guy. He continued to play benefits even as his illness grew.

I was proud to count both Lady K and John among my friends, and feel their loss keenly.  The world is never so well-supplied with good people that we can afford to lose one, and now we have lost two.

 

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Want To Read Donald’s Emails?

Just a mention, we have a page for the Presidential Pen Pal. That would be me… I get emails from Donald Trump, his family, even his buildings, and once a week, I answer: http://ideajones.com/?page_id=1811

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